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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Affair With Neighbor Reaches a Moment of Truth

DEAR ABBY: Last night I visited my 47-year-old son. After a 23-year marriage, he is going through a nasty divorce. While I was there, he asked my opinion about what he should do regarding a "situation."

A 62-year-old female divorced neighbor, who looks much younger, befriended him, and they've been having sex and spending time together for several months. She hasn't been in any relationships for two years.

He told her he's not interested in a permanent relationship because he's still not in a good emotional place, but he told me the real reason is their age difference. She told him she wants to continue, hoping it will lead to something permanent. He wants to be friends with benefits but doesn't want to hurt her feelings by telling her this.

He's a decent guy and feels he's being deceptive. I suggested he be honest and tell her it's because of the age difference. What do you recommend? -- MOM IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR MOM: Does your son think it will hurt the woman's feelings less if he monopolizes her for months -- or more -- and breaks the news later? For some people, a 15-year age difference is no big deal. But the longer this arrangement continues, the more hurt she will be when she finds out how much it matters to him.

I agree with you. Honesty is the best policy. And you know what? If she's as worldly as I suspect she may be, she may agree to continue the arrangement just the way it is.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Friends & Neighbors | Marriage & Divorce